UK House Prices Decline in April 2024

UK house prices experienced a decline for the second consecutive month in April, resting approximately 4% below their peak levels, according to data from Nationwide. The typical UK house price for April was £261,962. Research conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Nationwide found that nearly half (49%) of aspiring first-time buyers have delayed their plans over the past year due to affordability concerns, with high house prices and mortgage rates cited as primary reasons.

Nationwide Building Society reported a 0.4% month-on-month decline in UK property prices for April, following a 0.2% decrease in March. Annual house price growth slowed to 0.6% in April from 1.6% in March, as stated by Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, who attributed the slowdown to ongoing affordability pressures.

Gardner remarked, “Prospective buyers are increasingly considering purchasing properties in less expensive areas as a common compromise,” noting a trend towards smaller properties or those requiring renovation.

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, highlighted additional financial strains as owners transition from sub-2% mortgages obtained in early 2022. He anticipates a resurgence in demand and house price growth later in the year as a potential rate cut looms. Learn more about this and other stories in our property news section.

Sam Mitchell, chief executive of Purplebricks, noted a rise in viewing activity and positive buyer sentiment despite slight mortgage rate increases, attributing it to new market offerings stimulating buyer action.

Peter Arnold, EY UK chief economist, cautioned against overreacting to month-to-month fluctuations in the housing market, emphasizing the volatility of house price data, particularly in times of low transaction levels.

Nicky Stevenson, managing director at Fine & Country, characterized the buy to let & general property investment market as volatile, with fluctuating prices and increasing demand alongside a fragile economy.

Author: Graham Wilson, RCCIL, London.

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